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Tom Reed

Tom's Story: Prostate Cancer

After owning a roofing supply business for almost 30 years and then driving flatbed semi-trucks, Tom retired to enjoy his favorite hobby and continue his adventures riding motorcycles across the country and internationally. At 63 years old, this San Jose native was not about to let prostate cancer get in the way of his travels to Southeast Asia, Canada or coast-to-coast across the United States on his motorcycle.

Tom retired in 2016 and decided it was time to get a checkup so he made an appointment at El Camino Hospital’s Los Gatos campus. The results of his blood work indicated the presence of prostate cancer and he was referred Dr. David King, Co-Medical Director of Urology at the hospital. After additional testing, it was determined that Tom had an enlarged prostate and a biopsy was needed. In collaboration with radiology, 12 tissue samples were tested and two were found positive for cancer.

“At this point, Dr. Sinha and Dr. Kurtzman took over and they injected Hydrogel to separate the prostate gland and the colon. Then they implanted radioactive seeds into the prostate. They did this near the end of July and it was absolutely painless. It takes about six weeks to go through radiation treatment and I had 28 sessions in a row at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. It was no big deal. The radiation machine rotates around you and the side effects were minor. My energy level was down and I felt a little depressed. I had no pain or discomfort and I just had to take it easy and couldn’t lift anything heavy for six weeks. No riding my motorcycle for three days. That was it,” says Tom.

Tom adds, “the treatments were all done on an outpatient basis and everything went really well. The people at the radiation place were great. I would 100% recommend El Camino Hospital to other people. They told me I would feel a little down for two to three weeks and they were right. Last week, I woke up and I felt great! I have gone from getting up three times a night to urinate to just once a night and now, all the symptoms are pretty much gone. From everything I read about the procedure and the use of the gel, which dissolves into the body, they were as accurate as can be.”

Tom says the things that made the biggest impression on him were “how the doctors made me feel so comfortable. They told me there is nothing to worry about and they were going to handle it. I have been perfectly healthy my whole life and just get a checkup everyone two or three years. When you hear the word ‘cancer,’ it’s unnerving. These two doctors are the kindest people in the world and everyone at the hospital was very upbeat. My advice to other men is to listen to your doctor. Relax and let them help you. That is what doctors do. They are like good mothers and their first instinct is to help you. Let them.”